Stari Grad on the Hvar Island
Our ferry back to the mainland was sailing off from Stari Grad - little town located on the opposite side of the island. We still wanted to explore more before we left. I remember that in my mind, I had this image of lavender fields covering the island, that my brother told me about. We took a morning bus to Stari Grad. The road takes you up to the heights, where you can enjoy the view over the island, coastal line and the rich blue color of the sea. The Hvar Island is mountainous - during this time of the year, it felt really dry. It’s said to have the highest number of sunny days in all of Croatia. I was carefully examining the horizon in the pursuit of the image I had in my mind. I saw vineyards and olive-groves covering the slopes, calm bays of turquoise water, and single houses occasionally scattered around - but couldn’t spot the lavender.
Stari Grad is known to be the oldest town in Croatia. It was Established in the IVth century B.C. by Greeks who named it Pharos. Its cultural landscape has remained practically intact since. The agricultural activity of the surrounding cities fertile plains is mainly focused on grapes and olives, and it has been maintained since ancient Greek times to the present.
As opposed to Hvar, Stari Grad provides you with a breath of tranquility. The cool shade of narrow streets and small squares of its city center were helping us survive the midday harsh sun. It was pleasant to get lost in there, quietly explore each corner, peep local life without worrying about getting stuck somewhere between crowds. I spotted a little window in a stone wall below the “vino” signboard. A little while after I pulled a small hanging bell and the vendor's head appeared from the dark long corridor. He let us try a few of his homemade wines. Sweet dessert Prošek and Mali Plavac made of small blue wine grapes that grow along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia - in Croatian Plavo means blue; Mali means small.
Our next stop was Pharia, a restaurant we ran into while exploring. What caught our attention and enchanted us was Its beautiful patio. We were waited on by a tall guy with a ponytail, stubble, long flannel-plaid shirt and pleasing manners. When asked about Dj Shadow and Lauren Hill that were playing from the speakers alternately, he summed up with a sincere smile - it's my playlist, it's great someone noticed.
I really enjoyed the place - relaxing atmosphere, fresh seafood, kiwi plants full of fruits hanging above us, delicious sweet wine that was improving the mood even more. Unfortunately, It was getting late and our ferry was leaving soon - we should have come to Stari Grad from the beginning - I thought.
The way back was pleasing, the Adriatic sea was calm, a gentle breeze was keeping us cool and we admired impressive mountain ranges we were passing by.